Electronic Network to Aid the Hungry and Homeless
Date: December 1987
Keywords: eureka food bank humboldt handsnet non-profit
Pilot Project to Connect 50 Agencies
The Eureka Food Bank is a participant in a pilot project which
will substantially improve the availibility and quality of services to
hungry and homeless people in California.
This program was announced by USA for Africa/Hands Across America
and Apple Computer, Inc. For the first time ever, 50 organizations
for the hungry and homeless will be electronically linked through a
computer network made possible by a donation of personal computer
systems from Apple Computer.
The project, called HandsNet, will initially involve 48
California-based programs and two agencies in Washington D.C. The
network will directly or indirectly allow hundreds of service
providers to benefit from
each other's experience, resources and research by enhancing
intra-agency communications and establishing access to relevant and
HandsNet is supported with a donation of personal computer
systems, printers and telephone modems from Apple, valued at $250,000,
and a $140,000 grant to the California Organizing Committee for the
Hungry and Homeless by Hands Across America in its efforts to
eliminate hunger and homelessness. The creation of the network marks
Apple's largest single telecommunications grant to date. The Eureka
Food Bank received a Macintosh SE with an internal hard drive, a modem
and Microsoft Works.
The idea for HandsNet was proposed to Apple by the California
Organizing Committee, whose charter was to distribute $1.2 million in
Hands Across America funds and coordinate the programs and resources
of service providers within the state in order to improve their
effectiveness and efficiency.
Specific examples of how HandsNet can assist public and private
efforts to develop long-term solutions to the problems of homelessness
and hunger include the following:
The initial phase of HandsNet will involve 50 service
organizations. These participating agencies make up a pilot group
that will ultimately determine the potential of a nationwide computer
network. The group includes a balance between urban and rural areas
and hunger and homeless services. It is also equally divided between
small and large groups. For example, the California Homeless
Coalition represents more than 500 shelters, and the California Food
Network links more than 80 food pantries, food banks and gleaning
programs. Smaller groups participating in HandsNet, in some cases,
are run by churches.
Apple will provide the telecommunications network on which
HandsNet will operate. Project staff will also establish a parallel
network in order to develop an interactive data base for the
collection of demographic and
statistical data. This information will be posted on the HandsNet
In order to establish HandsNet, additional donations have been
made by Microsoft Corporation; Layered, Inc.; Interactive Network
Technologies; Solana Electronics; Sand Hill Engineering; Quasitronics,
Inc.; and Barnett Associates.
Apple Gives Grants To Nonprofit Groups
Under the Community Affairs program, Apple Corporate Grants awards
computer systems to nonprofit social service and arts groups. Awards
are made in five categories: the arts, the disabled, citizen action,
research and development, and innovation challenge (innovative uses of
computers in the nonprofit sector). Groups are working in such areas
as housing, substance abuse, the needs of the elderly, and refugeeism.
Guidelines require, among other things, that groups be classified
as 501(c)3 by the IRS, have full-time paid staff, maintain regular
office hours, and have annual budgets of less than $500,000.
The program emphasizes the awarding of computer systems to
networks of groups that are working on similar problems. The intention
is that networking via computer will enable groups to share resources
and information, to collaborate on major projects, and to access
centralized sources of information.
Community Affairs grantees are located throughout the United
States. The Cupertino office can provide interested parties with
information about groups in their geographic area or area of social
Deadlines for submitting proposals are November 15 and April 15.
For complete guidelines and application forms, contact Apple Corporate
Grants, 20525 Mariani Avenue M/S 5-B, Cupertino, CA 95014.
Grants to National Organizations
Apple Corporate Grants has partnership arrangements with the
United Way, Volunteer The National Center, National Endowment for the
Arts, and P.A.C.T. (Private Agencies Collaborating Together).
Under these partnerships, Apple grants large numbers of computer
systems to the national agencies, which in turn are responsible for
equipment distribution, training, technical support, and follow-up.
Guidelines for these partnerships vary from organization to
organization. Local agencies that are members of these national
groups should inquire directly to the appropriate national office to
find out more about their
computer-related programs. This is an edited version of articles
downloaded from AppleLink.
- Providing information on available surplus food allowing food
bank operators to coordinate trucking for efficient pick-up and
- Sharing information on program operations, methods and
procedures, which will be of particular benefit to new homeless
programs that can take part in on-line conferencing with experienced
- Collecting and disseminating previously unavailable demographic
and statistical information from the field.
- Centralizing county data so that agencies can make better use of
census figures, local poverty statistics and cost-of-living indices in
assisting hungry and homeless people in finding jobs and permanent
- Posting information on model programs; current news; federal,
state and local legislation, programs and available funding; and
electronically exchanging personal correspondence, presentation
graphics and membership newsletters.
Copyright © December 1987 by Applelink
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